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Applications for the next cohort of tech start-ups to join Exchange support scheme now open

Applications to join the third cohort of early-stage tech businesses on an industry-leading start-up support scheme, that aims to support the next wave of tech unicorns, are now open.

The Exchange scheme, based at Department Bonded Warehouse, offers tech firms aiming to scale and grow access to expert mentoring from industry specialists, opportunities and support to apply for funding, a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, and a physical base to root in Enterprise City, Manchester’s tech, digital and creative district.

The successful businesses will benefit from the insight of Exchange’s Entrepreneur in Residence, as well as programme partners across marketing, hiring, legal and funding. This gives founders all the tools they need to excel and scale their business rapidly.

Applicants on the scheme will follow in the footsteps of businesses such as PixelMax, which raised more than £2 million in funding whilst being supported by the programme, and Financielle, Jyrney and My First Five Years, which have all been named as Tech Nation Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winners in the North West – the national competition aims to identify and support the UK’s most disruptive tech upstarts. Umii, a business aiming to combat student loneliness, also won App of the Year at Prolific North’s Tech Awards 2021.

Exchange supported 227 individuals across 44 businesses, creating 75 jobs in the process, in its first 12 months. From the second intake in September, over 100 people from 30 different firms have already been supported. The scheme’s third cohort will launch at the start of March, with applications closing on Sunday 9 January 2022.

The programme has also seen unique opportunities, such as PropFolio and Gleensite working with Allied London, the developer behind Enterprise City and the Exchange scheme.


Tanya Grady, head of enterprise and partnerships at Enterprise City, said: “We’re once again inviting the most exciting new businesses in the UK to become part of our Exchange scheme. Now looking for our third group of businesses, they will have big shoes to fill following the success of our first two cohorts that have raised millions in funding and created over a hundred jobs, contributing to the broader tech and region’s ecosystem. Our aim is to create a community of diverse and internationally renowned businesses in tech, media, creative and digital industries.

“As the limits of what we can do with tech expand, the entrepreneurs rooted in it are becoming increasingly ambitious and creative. We can’t wait to see what people are working on and to support them on their growth and scaling journey in the future.”

Exchange will also expand beyond its current base in Department Bonded Warehouse to Campfields, also in the Enterprise City district at St. John’s, forming an even larger part of the region’s tech ecosystem in the coming years. Manchester City Council secured almost £20m of funding for a project to transform two dilapidated buildings with the help of Allied London, which will provide further facilities for 800 permanent residents and a further 250 transient residents in the tech and creative industries.


Laura Pomfret, co-founder of FinTech business and Exchange cohort member, Financielle, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement of the Exchange scheme and North West tech and business community, who are fully behind Financielle’s mission. We have been connected with key stakeholders in the region’s biggest businesses and have benefitted from the knowledge and experience of some special individuals, such as Mo Aldalou of Tech Nation, the scheme’s knowledge partner. We have been proud to give back to fellow founders also; we all benefit from a strong tech and investment ecosystem in the region.”

If you would like to apply to join the next Exchange cohort and benefit from the knowledge and support offered, apply today at